• synonyms


[geyp, gap]
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verb (used without object), gaped, gap·ing.
  1. to stare with open mouth, as in wonder.
  2. to open the mouth wide involuntarily, as the result of hunger, sleepiness, or absorbed attention.
  3. to open as a gap; split or become open wide.
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  1. a wide opening; gap; breach.
  2. an act or instance of gaping.
  3. a stare, as in astonishment or with the mouth wide open.
  4. a yawn.
  5. Zoology. the width of the open mouth.
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Origin of gape

1175–1225; Middle English < Old Norse gapa to open the mouth wide; compare German gaffen
Related formsgap·ing·ly, adverbsub·gape, verb (used without object), sub·gaped, sub·gap·ing.un·gap·ing, adjective


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1. See gaze. 2, 3. yawn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for gaped

Historical Examples

  • Hinde gaped at him, incapable of expressing himself with sufficient force.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • One shoe reclined in the southwest corner and the other gaped in the northeast.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • He gaped at her vague, pearly face, as if she had suggested some enormity.


    Stephen French Whitman

  • He returned no answer and gaped about him full of consternation and passion.

    The Frozen Pirate

    W. Clark Russell

  • Bill Crane jumped from his horse, stretched his limbs, and gaped.

    The Young Miner

    Horatio Alger, Jr.

British Dictionary definitions for gaped


verb (intr)
  1. to stare in wonder or amazement, esp with the mouth open
  2. to open the mouth wide, esp involuntarily, as in yawning or hunger
  3. to be or become wide openthe crater gaped under his feet
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  1. the act of gaping
  2. a wide opening; breach
  3. the width of the widely opened mouth of a vertebrate
  4. a stare or expression of astonishment
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See also gapes

Word Origin

C13: from Old Norse gapa; related to Middle Dutch gapen, Danish gabe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for gaped



early 13c., from an unrecorded Old English word or else from Old Norse gapa "to open the mouth, gape," common West Germanic (cf. Middle Dutch, Dutch gapen, German gaffen "to gape, stare," Swedish gapa, Danish gabe), from PIE *ghai- (see gap). Related: Gaped; gaping. As a noun, from 1530s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper